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Navigating Progress: Davao City Council’s Yearend Recap

THE 20TH City Council has been so busy crafting ordinances and resolutions that the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) Elections seemed a well-deserved pause rather than a distraction. 

Nevertheless, lawmakers welcomed the changes to the August body with the electoral win of the new barangay and IP representatives. 

City Intensifies Anti-Mendicancy Law

Photo by Bing Gonzales

On Oct. 6, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) ramped up the enforcement of the Anti-Mendicancy Law to minimize rampant street begging, particularly those who exploit children and infants as the holiday approaches. 

Councilor Wilberto Al-ag, the committee on social services chair, recognized the absence of a city ordinance, especially with the outdated penalties in the 1978 legislation, for instance, the P20 penalty for the violator being outdated. He vowed to craft a local ordinance to strengthen it. 

Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) expressed commitment, DCPO spokesperson Capt. Hazel Tuazon said they will file cases against street beggars who repeatedly violate the law. 

Apo Agua DeniesTamugan River Drying Up

Councilor Temujin Ocampo, the committee on the environment chair, revealed on Sep. 12 that Apo Agua denied causing Tamugan River to dry up due to their activities. The company said they only diverted water from the project site for three days from July 28-30, and won’t affect the supply.

Rather, they cited the heavy rain the day before the water diversion that caused riverbed widening creating the illusion that the river dried out.

Ocampo advised the company to at least advise a prior notice before such activity was performed as it could happen from time to time, to not cause an alarm in the community. 

DOJ Asked to Give Justice to Unsolved Murders

Photo by Bing Gonzales

The City Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) called on the Department of Justice to take steps and immediately address the 15 unsolved murder cases of IPs in the city. 

Councilor Rodolfo Mande, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative in his privilege speech during the 34th session, to heed their request for a thorough probe for 15 murder cases involving IPs. Most killings are rooted in land and leadership conflicts.

Meanwhile, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab blamed the National Indigenous Commission of the Philippines for failing to address the military’s spawning of the Bagani warriors, which caused even more violence in the third district, which he claimed his district was living peacefully before the creation of Bagani (warriors).

City Council Adopts ‘Less Paper’ System 

The City Council approved on Sep. 26 Resolution No. 01577-23 institutionalizing the “less paper session” system. Councilor Bonz Andrei Militar, chair of the information technology committee and the proponent of the ordinance, said the new system is cost-effective and eases access of the body to all items on the agenda.

The ordinance requires only three copies of the agenda and all its attachments to be printed while all agendas, committee reports, attachments, and other items shall be converted to digital copies and emailed to the lawmakers. 

The SP Office of the Secretary has earmarked P4,836,570 to upgrade the Legislative Information Support System Program (LISSP) and fully implement the new system. It will be used to procure devices, access points, a cloud subscription, one unit generation firewall, enterprise broadband internet access, center cloud storage for tracking documents’ retrieval and storage, and an archive for all approved landmark ordinances. 

Mandatory Face Mask Penalties Lifted

Photo by Bing Gonzales

Wearing face masks in public places is no longer mandatory, according to the ordinance passed on second reading by the City Council’s committee on health during the 38th regular session on Oct. 10. 

Councilor Richlyn Justol-Baguilod, the committee on health chair, said all the penalties associated with non-wearing of masks will be revoked. However, all individuals who have been fined are still liable to pay, except those who have no pending lawsuits. The council approved the ordinance on Oct. 17.

Lawmakers Amended CCTV Ordinance 

On Nov. 21, the “Amended CCTV Ordinance in the City,” was passed highlighting the need for law enforcers to immediately access footage from private establishments for higher crime solution efficiency.

Councilor Luna Acosta, the committee on peace and public safety chair,  said the amended ordinance will prioritize peace, public safety, and security in public and common areas.

Under Sec. 10, the establishment owner or the person in charge shall make the recording readily available to law enforcement agencies for viewing upon request. 

PSSO head Angel Sumagaysay said the ordinance will help crime investigations where the role of CCTV is critical. 

Anti-Spaghetti Wire Law 

The “Anti-Spaghetti Wire Ordinance of 2023” was approved on Dec 1, stating,  “no poles shall obstruct and impede any road right of way, sidewalks and alley” within all areas in the city. 

The City Engineer’s Office or the Department of Public Works and Highways shall notify owners of those affected poles and if deemed necessary, DPWH shall put up additional safety notices and installation transfers.

Failure to comply with the standards set in the ordinance shall be served with a Notice of Violation and/or compliance order by the CEO, and failure to comply within seven days from the receipt of the notice shall be subject to paying P300 per pole per day until compliance.

Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections

Photo by Bing Gonzales

On Nov. 13, 1,456 newly elected barangay officials from the three districts of Davao City took their oath of office before Mayor Sebastian Duterte at the Davao City Recreation Center. 

Duterte reminded the officials to ignore the political drama but prioritize the welfare of the constituents being the sole responsibility of barangay heads. The newly and reelected officials immediately assumed office upon taking their oaths under MC No. 2023-166 or the guidelines on the assumption of office of the BSKO last Oct 31, issued by DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos. 

All Dutertes

Reelected Catalunan Grande barangay captain January Duterte won a seat to the City Council after running unopposed and being declared the new president of Liga ng mga Barangays (Association of Barangay Councils) in the city, during the General Membership and Election meeting on Monday, Dec. 11. 

Duterte served as the ABC president for four years and was the sectoral representative to the City Council from 2014-2018 during Rep. Paolo Duterte’s stint as the vice mayor. The new president vowed to prioritize school needs and minimize the financial burden of indigent students

Meanwhile, Paolo Duterte’s son, Omar, is the present Buhangin Proper chair after he ran unopposed in the recent elections.

Animal shelter, City Meet Halfway

The City Health Office (CHO) gave the Happy Animals Club (HAC) a two-month grace period during a dialogue with the shelter’s lawyer and health officials at the CHO-Sanitary Division in CHO on Oct. 24., to resolve the odor and nuisance complaints before lifting the closure order. 

Atty. Neil Jao, who represented HAC, pledged to comply with the recommendations of the CHO, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and the City Veterinarian’s Office. 

The animal shelter was called to attend the dialogue following the sanitary order issued by the CHO after a re-inspection conducted last Oct. 20, the inspector reportedly confirmed that odor and nuisance existed within the premises as complained by the residents and violated City Ordinance No. 0291-17 under the Revenue Code of Davao City, particularly the rules and regulations on sanitation.


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